New Delhi: The players associations of South Africa and New Zealand feel there should be a separate window for the Indian Premier League and the Champions League but insist the cash-awash Twenty20 events should co-exist and not compete with international cricket.
"Yes, there is a need for an IPL and Champions League window but then they must not expand outside this window. International cricket, IPL and Champions League must co-exist and not compete. Players should not be put in a position of having to choose between playing one or the other," Tony Irish, CEO of South African Cricketers' Association (SACA), told PTI.
Irish's views were backed by New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA) CEO Heath Mills, who said while creating the window for the Twenty20 tournaments, it should be ensured
that international cricket is not devalued.
"It is absolutely essential that there are windows created for the IPL and the Champions League. If they do not create a window for the IPL then I am certain our best players in New Zealand will not sign central contracts in the future so they can choose to play in the IPL ahead of any clash that may occur with the Blackcaps schedule," Mills said.
"If that happens, it will devalue international cricket as the best players will no longer be playing all the time," Mills added.
ICC President David Morgan has hinted that the mandatory home-and-away series over a six-year cycle could be scrapped from the post-2012 Future Tours Programme to solve the players burn out issue which has been a major concern for member boards.
But NZCPA and SACA feel it won't solve the problem and the ICC should concentrate on having a proper Test and ODI championship.
"Scrapping the home and away compulsion alone without regulating the amount of cricket played won't solve the problem and may weaken the smaller countries further," Irish said.
"The best solution would be to have a proper Test and ODI championship where each country plays a regulated amount of cricket. This also cuts down on meaningless matches and gives each match context and meaning for the fans and the players," he added.
Mills echoed the views and said if something is not done to regulate the number of matches, top cricketers might be tempted to go freelance, which will make Tests a battle of the unequal.
"It is our strong view that we cannot not adopt an FTP as it is currently drafted by the ICC and member boards. If the ICC do not immediately give Test and ODI cricket greater context and meaning through annual championships in both formats then they will be doing the game a huge disservice," Mills said.
"International teams playing 11-12 months of the year in meaningless cricket will drive the best players and fans away from the game. There is too much international cricket and players will just freelance meaning Test cricket will no longer be the best versus the best.
"We need annual championships that have less volume of cricket but greater meaning and we might find they are actually worth more commercially. it is the less equals more approach," he added.